Posts Tagged ‘dress’

Jul. 2011 27

New Look 6799

OK, I love the 1960′s/Mad Men era as much as the next girl, but some times you just need to spice it up a little. So when I grab Simplicity’s New Look pattern 6799, I knew exactly which fabric I was going to use. My Aunt Carole gave me this amazing thick woven linen fabric with a black and white triangle/tribal-ish print. It is gorgeous and eye catching. I thought it would be the perfect balance for the super classic silhouette. I really didn’t make any changes to this pattern. The only thing I did was use a couple different sizes so that it would better fit my shape.

Jul. 2011 20

THE Summer Skirt

My sister Angela (of the hanging herb garden post as well as the bib necklace) lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, so I don’t get to see her super often. On a recent trip up, we decided to make the most of our time by having a sewing day. So Angela, my mom and I had a fun filled day of making jersey skirts (and one dress!). I made one of these prior to our craft day and it has quickly become a staple in my summer wardrobe. This is THE skirt for summer (well, casual skirt). It’s so comfy, relaxed and cute…it goes with everything!

You’ll need about a yard of fabric per skirt (varies based on desired skirt length). I like the heavier jersey, not the slinky kind for these skirts. Everything is with ½” seam allowance unless otherwise specified.

1. Take your waist measurement and subtract 5”. This is you waist band length.

2. Cut a rectangle 14”x waist band length. You want the stretch to be along the waist band length side

3. With right sides together, stitch along the 14” long side of the waist band

4. Fold top edge down to the bottom edge so you’ll have a tube with the seam from step 3 on the inside. You tube should now be 7” tall

5. For this step, I used the whole width of the fabric (about 58-60” depending on the fabric). Figure out the length you want your skirt, add 1.5” seam allowance, then cut fabric. Trim off the selvage.

6. With right sides together, sew your skirt piece together along the length

7. Using a needle and thread, ruffle the top edge of your skirt. Do this until you reduce the length down to your waist band measurement minute 1” (to account for seam allowance taken)

8. Pin ruffled edge to raw edge (technically both raw edges since they are aligned) of waist band. Sew

9. Hem bottom at 1”

All done!

When wearing, fold your waist band over (like yoga pants) so it will be about 3″. This helps the skirt fit, and looks way better than a 7″ waist band :)

Making the dress version is super simple. You’ll need about 1.5” yards for a full length dress (for a 5’5” girl)

1. Take your rib cage measurement, subtract 5. This is your tube top band length

2. Cut rectangle to 14” x tube top band length.

3. Cut a rectangle 14”x waist band length. You want the stretch to be along the tube top band length side

4. With right sides together, stitch along the 14” long side of the tube top band

5. Fold top edge down to the bottom edge so you’ll have a tube with the seam from step 3 on the inside. You tube should now be 7” tall

6. Measure around your chest where the upper edge of your dress will rest. Subtract 2. Cut a piece of elastic to this length; sew ends together so you have a loop.

7. Work this into your tube top (from steps 5) in between the layers, so that the upper edge of the elastic is against the crease. Pin in place (on outside). Stitch the tube top layers together just below the elastic, creating a casing. Don’t sew over the elastic because that will make it not stretch.

8. For this step, I used the whole width of the fabric (about 58-60” depending on the fabric). Figure out the length you want, add 1.5” seam allowance, then cut fabric. Trim off the selvage.

9. With right sides together, sew your skirt piece together along the length

10. Using a needle and thread, ruffle the top edge of your skirt. Do this until you reduce the length down to your waist band measurement minute 1” (to account for seam allowance taken)

11. Pin ruffled edge to raw edge (technically both raw edges since they are aligned) of waist band. Sew

12. Hem bottom at 1”

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Jun. 2011 29

Tube Top Dress

So let’s talk tube tops. They are a great summer option….for most people. I feel like I’m constantly having to adjust and the top has to be so tight to stay up it’s not really an “easy” look for me. But a couple years back I bought 2 from the discount bin at Express, I believe they were less than $5 each. I only really ever worn them under other items. And on top of that, they have become a little to tight for me now. So they were in the back of my closet collecting dust. I decided this was a prefect opportunity for a re-fashion tutorial. I used 1 black tube top and about 3/4 yard of fabric.

1. If you tube top has the built in bra, cut it out. Since the top was a little tight on me, we are going to use the bottom hem as the new top

2. Measure from where the top seam will be to where your waist it. Add 0.5″ seam allowance and cut here.

3. For your skirt, you can totally measure the length you want and cut it to fit and all that, but I went for the much faster option: Cut your contrast fabric in half along the length. So now you have 2 pieces 3/4 of a yard long.

4. Sew your two lengths of contrast fabric together, so now you have a loop

5. Sew your tube top portion to the skirt. I used a two-pronged approach for this. I used both elastic thread and I stretched the tube top as I sewed. This worked in all the excess fabric of the skirt so the final outcome would be gathered.

6. Hem to desired length.

7. Using the portion of tube top you cut off in step 2 (and the parts from the built in bra if it’s matching) and cut 0.75″ strips. Use these strips to make your straps how ever you want.

8. I did a little gather in the center of the bodice to give it a better shape. I simply gather the first 4″ down to 2″.

And that’s it. If it wasn’t for my complicated straps this would have been the fastest dress ever!

PS…do you see those shoes?! So hot right? They are Nine West and I got them for $8.40 at Syms!!!!

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Apr. 2011 20

Kimono Dress

There are tons of different takes on a kimono style dress. I’m personally in love with Mod Cloth’s version:

So in prep for the hot summer ahead (maybe I can will it to get here faster), I went ahead and made my own. I was super shocked by how easy it was.  I used a t-shirt to get the curve in the shoulder the way I wanted it, and not for anything else.

I used exactly 3 yards of fabric for this. I bought it at G-Street on the $2.97 tables. I also got some 2 inch elastic which cost $2 a yard (roughly). So in totally I spent a whopping 11 bucks for this stellar outfit.

As for the measurements, I’ll tell you how to take your own but if you are a size 10, you’re in luck, just use mine.

All seams are 3/8” unless otherwise stated.

To cut out the bottom of the dress you’ll need 3 measurements:

Waist, Hips and Length

Top line: (Waist divided by 2) +1”

(32/2)+1”= 17”

Mid Line: (Hips divided by 2) +2”

(40/2)+2= 22”

Length (you can choice to do this, or I just did the whole length of the fabric and hemmed it later): Length from your waist to the floor, plus 1”

The Bottom:

    1. Cut two:

  1. Sew sides together to make your skirt portion. If you are using a jersey (recommended) or a poly-stretch (which I used), you don’t really need to finish the edges. I like to because I think it makes it lay better. So on all the seams in this tutorial, I surged the edges.
  2. Cut elastic to exactly your waist measurement.
  3. Sew ends of elastic together. I like to sew the seam allowance down to the band so it’s not in the way
  4. Pin skirt to the elastic band, right sides together.
  5. Sew along the edge, stretching the fabric and elastic as you go. This will allow for stretch during wear. If you do not stretch while you sew (or you could use elastic thread of you have it), your garment won’t stretch.

The Top:

    1. To Figure out the waist line on the top, you have to take in consideration how busty you are/how modest you want the top.  Not so busty or want a more revealing top? Your top waist line will be from your left side (directly under your armpit) to under your breast (about midway) on the right.  More busty? Continue the measurement all the way to the other side, and subtract 1.5” from that number.
    2. To get the height of your top, measure from your waist up over the bust to your shoulder (where the seam will be). Mine is 19”
    3. Cut 4 “top” pieces. Making sure you have 2 in each direction. (2 with the diagonal cut on the left, 2 with it on the right)

    1. Sew fronts and backs together on the shoulder seam
    2. Open up the top, fold the sleeve hem up 1”, sew

    1. Fold the diagonal neck line under 1”, sew
    2. In the sleeve/shoulder seam allowance: ruffle the seam to shrink the last 11” to 5”.


    1. Sew the armpit seam
    2. Create a tie string by cutting a 1” strip, fold the sides in, and then fold in half. Sew
    3. Attach string to back side of garment, 1” down from shoulder seam
    4. Pin the left half of the top to the elastic, right sides together. Make sure to line the underarm seam up directly above the skirt side seam.
    5. The pin the right half of the top to the elastic. Your right and left top will overlap, it is supposed to.
    6. Sew along the elastic, stretching it and the fabric as you go.
    7. Hem the bottom to the proper length

Here’s mine prior to hemming it.

DONE! Now don’t you just feel like you should be drinking a mojito or something?

I got a chance to wear this dress on our recent trip to Cancun. It was gorgeous blowing in the breeze (if I do say so myself). I can’t wait till it’s warm enough in DC to wear around town.

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